Unlocking the power of communities could be the next big thing for TikTok marketers looking to maximise messaging and brand recognition among users.
“Brands that identify relevant communities on TikTok and craft their creative strategies around them are able to create authentic ads that deliver real impact.”
An excellent recent example TikTok offers is eBay. eBay connected with an established TikTok community – sneakerheads – and ran a campaign that produced content specifically targeting that community. It was a smart move because eBay is already known as the place to buy and sell sneakers.
Doubling down on its strengths made for a very successful campaign as eBay gathered 25.8bn views on the hashtag sneakerhead, 1.2m poll votes and achieved a comment rate of 54% thanks to its March Madness-style tournament. It also used voting stickers to help expand its reach among the sneakerhead community.
eBay made further good use of TikTok’s Spark Ads offering, bridging the organic and paid social divide.
For the unfamiliar, Spark Ads is a native ad format that allows advertisers to tap into authenticity by boosting organic content. This ad format allows the same user interactions as organic videos: users can comment, like and share; they can visit your brand’s profile by swiping left, or clicking the handle name or profile picture; they can even follow your brand’s account by clicking the + icon on the profile picture. Spark Ads work in a similar way to Instagram’s Branded Content Ads.
So, what can you do if you’re a marketer and want to expand your reach by linking to a range of groups and interests within TikTok?
TikTok best practices for content marketing
Identify your subculture
First things first, you’ve got to find your people.
“Embrace communities and their subcultures—that’s where true inspiration lives. 76% of users say they like it when brands are a part of special interest groups on TikTok.”
Think about what your audience gets passionate about, and then you can explore areas outside your usual wheelhouse. If you’re struggling for inspiration, TikTok’s Keyword Insights tool can help you find the top keywords that resonate with your audience and industry.
For example, type #makeup into the tool to reach people interested in beauty. From there, it will show you related interests you can explore.
The Top Products tool can also show marketers the most popular and top-converting items in TikTok ads.
“Stay and play”
TikTok says the stay-and-play framework will help marketers find communities to engage with. Stay and play works like this:
- Brands stay in the most obvious areas for their brand and produce content that consistently targets these communities to grow their current audience.
- Brands play in less obvious areas and experiment with new ways to engage with the people in those groups and to reach new audiences.
“For both your stay and play communities, you should explore broad macro-communities and niche micro-communities. In doing so, you’ll cast a wide net of communities to engage with—allowing you to drive trust and brand performance in both the short and long-term.”
TikTok provides an example of a luxury fashion brand that stays in #fashiontok but targets the #gorpcore subculture and plays in #foodtok, utilising the crossovers between foodies and fashionistas and #miniatureworld – a niche subculture of skits with miniature figurines.
Your best chance at a successful content strategy
Before you execute your stay-and-play strategy, you need an idea of what content you will produce. TikTok says that the content that drives the best results delivers value and variety to audiences.
To drive value, create content that entertains, educates, connects or is personally relevant to your audience.
To deliver variety, your content should serve “different need states” such as thinking, planning or buying.
It’s also best to avoid glossiness or over-production on your videos, shoot in vertical and hi-res formats, feature real people, use sound and TikTok-specific editing techniques, develop a narrative and jump on the bandwagon to adopt the latest trends or norms that your audience is really vibing with.
Next, all you have to do is start creating! Use Creative Center to see what’s trending and think about how you could incorporate that into your videos.